Linda Marrinon.

Linda Marrinon Awarded 2018 Don Macfarlane Prize

The Don Macfarlane Prize, an annual $36,000 award granted to established Australian artists in recognition of their “unwavering, agenda-setting arts practice and contribution to Australian art,” has named Linda Marrinon the 2018 prizewinner. Named after benefactor Don Macfarlane, a respected Melbourne businessman, the award was established to redress the lack of funding opportunities for significant senior Australian artists.

Born in 1959 and based in Melbourne, Marrinon first came to prominence in the 1980s, when she was producing satirical paintings and drawings that combined art history and pop culture. Today, she is better known for her recent body of work comprising figurative terracotta sculptures that fuse nineteenth-century sculptural traditions with a contemporary sensibility.

“Her sculptures show a deep commitment to studio craft and the history of art. She combines this with great humor and wit,” the prize’s advisory committee said in a statement. “Linda deftly positions her work between high and mass culture, art and decoration, good taste and kitsch. . . . Her sculptures are smart, intriguing, and over the top.”

Marrinon has had major surveys at the Monash University Museum of Art in 2016 and at the University of Melbourne’s Ian Potter Museum of Art in 2001. That same year, she was also named the recipient of the Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship. Recent solo exhibitions of the artist include “Architects! Terracotta!” (2018) and “Linda Marrinon” (2016) at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney. Various group exhibitions that have featured her work include “Today Tomorrow Yesterday” (2016) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and “Melbourne Now” (2013–14) at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Commenting on the prize, Marrinon said, “This is an amazing opportunity, and I plan to use it to explore some of the technical issues I have in enlarging my sculptures—which I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. That’s a real thrill for me, which will show in the work in years to come. It will let me do things I wasn’t able to do before.”